Comparative anatomy of the experimental animals and human heart

Y.A. Gushchin, Head of the department of histology and pathology

Research and manufacturing company «Home оf Pharmacy»,
188663, Russia, Leningradskaya region, Vsevolozhskiy district, Kuzmolovskiy, Zavodskaya st., 3-245



The problem of cardiovascular system diseases treatment and prevention is still relevant. Pharmacotherapy plays an important role in the therapy, and, consequently, the development of new drugs. One of the invariable development stage  is preclinical research involving laboratory animals determining effectiveness  and safety of new drugs. In this paper we tried to put together the basic elements of human and laboratory animals heart structure, and  to compare heart morphology to determine similarities and differences in the anatomy and histology of humans and different animals species.

Anatomy of the mammalian heart has the same structural plan.  Topographic location  and anatomical and histological structure of the organ are similar. However, there are also some significant species features. Heart location is mediated by body spatial position. In tetrapods it shifts to the sternum and left ventricle turned to the anterior chest, in humans, on the contrary, the top of the heart is attached to the diaphragm, and the right half is turned anteriorly.

Comparing the anatomical structure of humans and laboratory animals heart, we can note a different number of certain anatomical structures, such as the valves, chords and papillary muscles. but this variety can also be traced within the species.

The number and location of the hollow and pulmonary veins have pronounced features. The course of the coronary arteries and their contribution to the blood supply of the   myocardium parts  also has its own species specificity.  As a result the blood supply type of the myocardium is also different. The left coronary artery dominates, but in rats and mice  right and left coronary arteries evenly supply blood to the myocardium. In addition, animals have separate septum branches of the right coronary artery, which are not present in humans. Also, in rodents, the coronary arteries almost immediately branches off the aorta and run  into the myocardium thickness, in humans they run epicardially for a long time.

The histological structure of the heart is the same in all species. There are small differences, rather related to the size of the animals.

The conducting system of the heart in all mammals has a single plan of structure. And the species specificity is manifested in the variability of the location of nodes and their cellular composition.

In this review, only the morphological structure is considered and physiological parameters are not discussed, since this topic requires a separate review.

Full text avaliable in Russain only


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